Created: Clean Install of OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

Discussion in 'Mac Guides' started by Hellhammer, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. Hellhammer, Sep 4, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010

    Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I found out that I answer this question over and over again and seen other people answering it as well so thought that I would create a step-by-step guide how to do this so we don't have to type the steps over and over again. The guide is also more specific than most posts are

    Link: Clean Install of OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

    Feedback is very welcome. I tried to make it as simple as I could
  2. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    very nice guide! thank you for posting :)

    we need more people like you helping out in the community!
  3. crusso03 macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2009
    usb install

    how can you install snow leopard off a usb flash drive? i am currently running tiger...
  4. Hellhammer thread starter Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
  5. mashal46 macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2010
    Update Issues Please HELP!!!

    i cant update my iMac for some reason my updater is not letting me do it. the version in trying to download is JAVA for MAC OS X 10.4, release7 and also the iDVD update not letting me do ether of them. can someone please help me. the latest software update on my system is version Mac OS X 10.4.11
  6. Perdification macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2010
    I'd suggest that you add some screenshots at every step, at least it'll be easier to follow and gives people reassurance that they're on the right track.
  7. rhett7660 macrumors G5


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    Thank you very much! Excellent post. Printed and saved for future reference!
  8. sasasule macrumors member


    Feb 25, 2011
    I agree on this one for fresh mac users picture can help me more then text :) but joke aside nice guide
  9. Hellhammer thread starter Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    The issue with pictures is that you can't take screenshots while installing AFAIK. Sure I could use a camera but that might start to be tricky. Besides, Lion will be out soon and it would require a new guide ;)
  10. ukpetey macrumors regular


    Oct 15, 2008
    Durham, England
    Thank you

    I've just bought a new iMac and am giving my 13 yr old son my 3 year old iMac, so he can at last move onto a Mac. Benefits are multiple for him and for me, but firstly I'll no longer have to provide 'tech support' to a machine I no longer really understand, and which is always a very frustrating experience.

    I also won't have to listen to his PC fan whining through the house - sounding like a hairdryer! it's a Dell, and it's been truly disappointing!

    Anyway, I wanted to do a clean install on my old iMac - and found this perfect guide. So, thanks very much Hellhammer, a great guide, spot on, and I appreciate very much the time you took to produce it. :)

  11. Encai macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2011
    Hellhammer, just wanted to say thanks for creating the guide! It was very clear and easy for me to follow when I recently upgraded to Snow Leopard.
  12. quasinormal, Apr 1, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011

    quasinormal macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2007
    Sydney, Australia.
    I just did clean installs on two 2011 MBPs. I'll mention what i did when I transferred my information , because for once everything turned out well. The data was on a HD removed from a dead MBP that was running 10.5.

    I upgraded the old HD in firewire enclosure to 10.6 and ran all updates on it. I then ran the app CleanApp to remove programs from the old drive I didn't want any more. Migration agent was used transfer the applications. It appears 3rd party apps have the registration code transferred, but Pages asked for a reg. no.

    With iTunes, i deleted the iTunes folder in Music on the new HD and then copied over the old iTunes folder. This worked and preserved all metadata.

    edit- i should mention that Migration agent made a mess of transferring itunes. This could have been because i had my music files away from where itunes would normally find it. Before swapping itunes folders, I moved and renamed a few files so that both itunes folders matched.
  13. mr666, Jun 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011

    mr666 macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2009
    Not "clean install"

    The term "clean install" refers to OS 9 and before. It was a clean installation, a new "System Folder", not a wipe. A wipe is a "clean erase". The equivalent of "clean install" in OS 10.5.8 and before is the option "Archive and Install". The archive is the old system, the install is the new system. The two (old and new) are totally separated, thus the new install is clean, a clean install. With OS 10.6, a direct reinstall will automatically put the old system into an archive.

    The big glitch with the 10.6 reinstall is that it fails to handle an archive of the Users. Instead, it changes the status of all previous user accounts to standard accounts and upon restart, the Setup Assistant directs you through creating a fresh account -- that may or may not be an admin account.

    The surest way to get a proper clean install (as opposed to clean erase) out of OS 10.6 is to complete the reinstall, complete the new user, boot to single user mode, rm the local.nidb, mv the old "Users" directory to "Users-old", rm the .applesetupdone file, reboot, create a real admin account (best to use the same full name and shortname as your original account), and Bob's your uncle. Then you can create new admin users to match any other old users you may have had. Mucking about to move stuff from the old to new users should not cause any permissions miss-match if they have the same short names.

    The purpose of a clean install in OS 9 and before was to solve OS install issues, not to solve HDD file system errors. Archive and Install also has the purpose of solving OS install issues.

    Anyone who was using computers when Apple introduced this feature (System 7.5) knew that it was hidden then and you had to hold Command-Shift-K to get the options window to appear. Starting with OS 7.6, the installer showed an "Options" button to bring up that pop-up screen with a check box for "Create New System Folder (Clean Installation)".

    I have no idea why the PC geeks usurped this phrase and decided it required a format. Format is to remove a corrupt file system, not needed to clean install a fresh OS. Anyone who erases a HDD when there are no errors found by Disk Utility, Drive Genius, TechTool Pro, Disk Warrior and the like must have a phobia. Just go really overboard and replace the whole HDD. Probably has problems that even an erase missed. Toss it.
  14. cinlung macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2011
    Hi, can you please tell me what is going on with my situation?
    a. First I tried to perform clean install by loading the Mac OS X 10.6 disc directly to the drive, then it failed on auto boot from DVD
    b. I followed some online instruction on copying the whole installation disc to an externel HDD and use the HDD as installation disc by setting it as startup disc. Then the following message appear:
    - This version of Mac OS X is not intended for your hardware (something like that)
    c. After that the HDD no longer bootable.
    d. Then I tried to boot from Disc again by pressing Option Button and two bootable options appear, the internal HDD and the DVD for Mac OS X 10.6. I chose the DVD and it booted from the disc. In the middle of the way a block sign appear and the disc did not seem to be spinning (reading) anymore.

    This is my mac specs:
    Model Name: MacBook Pro 15"
    Model Identifier: MacBookPro1,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core Duo
    Processor Speed: 2 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache (per processor): 2 MB
    Memory: 2 GB
    Bus Speed: 667 MHz
    Boot ROM Version: MBP11.0055.B08
    SMC Version: 1.2f10

    some said that I need to do gradual upgrade from 10.4.11 to 10.5 first. Is that true? Or can I just do clean install like what you wrote?
  15. Hellhammer thread starter Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Is the disc you have the retail version of Snow Leopard? If it's from another computer, then it may not work.
  16. Alex7 macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2013
  17. LostSoul80 macrumors 68020


    Jan 25, 2009
    The guides are temporarily down since the security leak earlier this week.
    Presumably, they'll soon get back.
  18. Alex7 macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2013
    I see... I'll try back later. Any other link suggestions? thanks.
  19. ramjben macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2014
  20. Issaco21 macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2014
    Thanks for this guide. Was looking for it this week finally found it!
  21. miss perelman macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2015
    hi there. can i ask a question? i wiped safari from an old mac os x 10.6 laptop by downloading lion. i don't have any other browser on that laptop so can't get online to get it back. tried time machine to find it but it is nowhere in applications. from the newer laptop i am writing on now - could i download snow leopard to a usb stick and transfer it to my old laptop? if so, how do i make sure it doesn't get downloaded to the hard drive thus risking wiping out the more current safari - i have a mac os x 10.9 here? hope i am making sense! best wishes and thanks in advance , laura

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21 September 4, 2010